Planning Your Monetization Mix is covered in DAY 4 of the Action Guide. It is a critical GO/STOP step in the C T P M process. Get feedback on your chosen Monetization Mix for your new business; or get tips on which monetization options work best for your niche.

Moderator: Sheri from Uneeda

#1288338 by Michael from Ama
Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:18 pm
I'm just catching up on this thread and noticed the link to Brendon Burchard's course. I'm a huge fan of his work. Yes, this particular course is pricey but you have to think of these kinds of things and investments rather than expenses. $2,000 "spent' today that helps you create a product that sells for, say, $495, and it really doesn't take many sales to recoup that investment. Most courses have payment plans. You can purchase using credit card, learn how to put a course together and be making a return on that investment before you've even paid your first installment.

Another person I'm a big fan of is David Siteman Garland. He has a course called Create Awesome Online Courses, where he takes you through the entire process of creating and selling courses. It's half the cost of Brendon's and is excellent.
#1305476 by Monica from Lowden
Fri Oct 03, 2014 9:37 pm
about cafepress and my own product.
I have only recently, a few months ago, started to create my own products. I wish I had started much earlier instead of chasing only the affiliate programmes. It is possible to find products that don't require a huge investment.

To make a long story short, I had created a shop on cafepress, with a lot of the items they make available, no investment (apart form my time to create designs), but I wasn't selling much at all, 3 items in the last 3 months. They pay pennies, they call it "royalties". Example, for a mug they sold at $18.64 I got $0.93.

So, out of curiosity, I tried to list on Amazon (by the way, never mentioned in any of the SBI! guides and articles :cry:) two of the products (a mug) with a design I had made on cafepress and bought from my own shop, to see whether they would sell more easily. It did sell after only a few days!

So I found a manufacturer that could print the same design on the mug and would require me to buy only a few items. I bought 72 and I'm selling them on Amazon.

The annoying thing I noticed today is that now cafepress is selling MY very same items on Amazon :x at a lower price (of course they can afford it!)

Is this OK? I don't think they should be entitled to do this, what about the "royalties" and "intellectual property" of my designs? If they sell items with my design on other websites I don't get paid any commission or royalty. I wrote them asking to explain this, we'll see what they say.

So, in conclusion, I'm going to remove all my items and designs from cafepress.
I'd appreciate your thoughts, thanks.

#1305734 by Rachel from Sneads
Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:45 pm
Hi Monica,

Wow, that's crazy! Unfortunately, I have no idea if that's legal or not, although it doesn't sound legal. I don't have experience with Cafe press, but hopefully other SBIers do. Can you find their agreement you had to "sign" when you created your account? Maybe that will tell you more.

Also, what about searching to see if someone has posted the same problem on another website?

Good luck!
#1305741 by Mary from
Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:14 am

I am sorry you are experiencing this. I went to Cafe Press and checked out their TOS. There is much information on copyright there. If your designs are your original work they are protected under copyright. Unless somewhere in the agreement, that I did not see, you gave Cafe Press permission or license to use them.

There is information in our TNT informing us what to do when someone steals our intellectual property. I own a trademark and consulting an attorney isn't cheap. Sadly, I have to have him sent out cease and desist letters sometimes. But, you need to take steps to stop Cafe Press from stealing from you. I hope you proceed in taking back what is yours.

Good luck
#1305973 by Monica from Lowden
Sat Oct 11, 2014 10:05 am
thanks Rachel and Mary for your advice.
I wrote cafepress and asked them. They said they'd pay me royalties when they sell on other channels than their website. Then I eliminated the item from my cafepress shop and told them I don't want them to sell that item on Amazon. Yesterday they replied they'll eliminate it from Amazon, I hope they do it soon.

Best wishes
#1306412 by Rachel from Sneads
Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:36 pm
Hi Monica,

Thanks for the update! That's great to hear that they actually responded to you (twice!) and agreed to remove the products. It's highly possible they will since they were so quick to reply and follow up with you!

Good luck,
#1306772 by ENID from Sherwood
Thu Oct 23, 2014 4:33 pm
I was impressed by Brendan Burchard's videos as well. Before I invested my hard-earned money in the program, I did a little snooping around. Now, one is always going to find detractors -- just as there are people who are disenchanted with SBI.

But . . . I am an old dog, and I have invested plenty of money in coaching, self-development programs, and even counseling. So I am not new to investing in myself.

I decided to sit on my interest and see if I was still excited six or eight months down the line. I bought his much cheaper ebook. And by the time six months had passed, I did not think it would be a wise investment for me.

I came to believe that what is being offered will be more in the way of motivational material and networking opportunity than content. What pays off for me is getting content knowledge and experience -- getting a real estate license and mortgage broker training which I never used commercially but which paid off royally in my own real estate trades. Getting my Ph.D. Learning about websites from books, SBI, and the free or cheaper materials.

Promoters like Brendan Burchard are excellent at doing what they do -- promoting themselves and their product. That charisma can be learned, and I recommend Olivia Fox Chabane's The Charisma Myth as the best distillation of research in a highly readable form if you want to be a star. It may cost you about 10 bucks for a Kindle download.

I have read good things about Jeff Walker's Product Launch Formula -- but I don't have a product to launch, and I would attempt to do it on my own before I invested in that.

Motivational amorphous training -- Werner Erhard's EST, for example -- was always a let-down for me in the end. More promises than product.

As the great Italian director Roberto Fellini said toward the end of his years, "The secret of life is that there really is no secret at all."

This is one of the revelations of my late-life years, after decades of searching for enlightenment, wisdom, inner peace and outer wealth in every nook and cranny of my journey. There are no secrets.

If you want to be a speaker, join Toastmaster's.

There are far cheaper ways to learn about digital marketing, creating courses and workshops, and marketing ebooks.

Now -- There is no substitute for the synergy and energy that is created by a big event like Burchard's with a big build-up. So that may be a great way to kick-start your plans.

But you may be able to find something more intimate and sustaining by creating your own master mind group that will nurture you over the long haul.

If you decide to do this, I shall be intensely interested in learning about what you think immediately after the event, three months later, and then nine months later. Please do let us know.
#1306781 by Tobias & Stephanie from Hardyville
Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:11 pm
Hi Enid,

I was interested to see your recommendation of the Charisma Myth. I heard about it through Ramit Sethi and I've added it to my "to read" list, and it's nice to hear it endorsed by an SBIer before I go ahead and buy it. I'm always a little cynical of books that make big promises, but I like ones that are evidence-based, i.e. they've worked for lots of people, not just the author.

About product launches, if you're looking for a cheap but hugely valuable source of information, I'd recommend reading about the concept of Lean Startup. It's mostly evolved around high tech startups but it's hugely useful for SBIers too. It's all about how to develop products that have a high chance of success, by really knowing the market before you create the product, and also by continuing to learn about the market even after you've released the first version of your product. In many ways it's analogous to keyword research for a website: you make sure you understand the demand and supply before you jump in and create a website, and then you continue to research your niche as you grow your site.

There's a nice video by Eric Rees on youtube that explains the basic ideas of lean startup:

There are also a couple of books about it. My favourite one is "Nail it and Scale It" by two authors who are investors in companies and between them have experience with 100s of companies, so they know what works and what doesn't. Another excellent book is "Running Lean" by Ashy Maurya. He shares some of his ideas here:

We've applied many of these ideas to our website and this year have grown our product revenue from $100s / month to $1000s / month, so the ideas are very practical and they do work. Our site used to be an infoproneur site (less than 10% of revenue from product), but now earns 40-50% of revenue from product sales. The change of mindset to selling products was a challenge, and we had several failed products along the way, but the lean startup ideas definitely helped guide us to success.

#1306808 by ENID from Sherwood
Fri Oct 24, 2014 3:43 am
Thanks Tobias. Coincidentally, earlier this evening I was reading about the Lean Startup. I will look into this. Generally, when my bell rings more than once in a short period of time, it is worth my while to answer the door.

About Chabane -- I use advice from her book in my speech and interpersonal communication classes. She knows her stuff. I would teach from it, but textbooks have to fulfill various learning objectives and are a group decision.
#1348522 by Wedding Flowers, Inc. from East Nassau
Sat May 28, 2016 3:54 am

:wink: Perhaps you should also consider looking around you (local areas etc.) and see what other people sell on a small scale and then learn how to MARKET for them. It's not just about "developing your own unique product". SBI is all about learning HOW TO MARKET ONLINE.

I sell lots by affiliate marketing. Do I make a lot? No . . . but their products help bring in visitors to my website. I have one large affiliate that I market for and focus most of my affiliate time on them. Apparently it was noticed. When they switched from Share-A-Sale to a different affiliate marketing setup - one of their district managers called me personally. Why? Because they noticed that I sell A LOT OF THEIR PRODUCT and wanted to be sure I switched over and followed them to their new affiliate company. It's a good thing they called - because I was very busy and probably wouldn't have noticed until I started getting complaints of broken links. This one manager waited for my fax and watched to be sure I was accepted immediately into their affiliate program. That did feel good!

Now remember - their product is big $$$ stuff. So although they only pay a 5% commission (which I'm going to negotiate up) - I still make several hundred dollars a month on this one affiliate. One single time I made a $3000 commission on a very huge sale. Now that doesn't happen often (although I wish it would) - but I found out when they were calling me that I was considered one of their top affiliates. This is kind of funny - because I only have about four pages devoted to them and all my sales (thus the commission) come from those four pages.

Anyway . . . I digress. I took a field that I'm an expert in and then created a website that gets very good traffic. Now when Google (in my opinion) made a huge mistake of changing over from thumbnail pics to full sized pics (why come to my site to see what I have for sale or click on Google adsense?) and then the monster Pinterest roared forth, grabbing "free images" from everywhere on the net and encouraging hundreds of thousands of people to be their "free workers" (pin those stolen images).

I hated it. I was angry. I had either created those pics myself or paid for the privilege of using them and now somebody else was using MY CONTENT to feed THEIR website - not mine. But you know what? Enough of us little ones complained that it made Pinterest rather nervous so they decided it was ok to use their big Pinterest audience as a "shop on line store". I have worked hard to build a huge following on Pinterest. Now I mean several YEARS. Yup! This May was my 9th anniversary with Sitesell and my 3rd year on Pinterest. Now the biggest part of my traffic rolls in from Pinterest and my images are getting pinned by the hundreds each day. I don't pin "cute puppies" or "Funny Sayings". I PIN MY PRODUCTS. I have worked hard, but I now have a following of over 13,000 followers who all have an average of hmmmmmm. . . maybe 200 - 300 followers of their own and THEY have followers and . . . well - you get the picture.

My pics are exposed to over 2,000,000 (2 MILLION) pinners a month . . and about 50,000 of those "engage" my photos. That means they repin them, like them or follow the link to my own website. Of course - the last is what I want. I pin everything to lure visitors to MY WEBSITE - not to stay on Pinterest.

But I'm pretty busy other places. I had to switch wholesalers because the first one couldn't keep up with the size of my flower orders. They just didn't keep enough stock in their coolers to be able to fill large orders (or fix a problem) on a short notice. So I turned my eye back to where I had started . . . one of the largest flower wholesalers in the U.S. - and they are located only 45 minutes away from me. When I started 9 years ago, I wasn't big enough for them to notice me or work to hard to accomodate me. Now I went over with the intent on giving them a sales pitch to why they should want to work with me. Before I was done - THEY were buying ME lunch and wooing me - telling me they know that the internet is the future and that they were very interested in helping me be as successful as I can be. WOW!! It felt good that they were now wining and dining ME! I keep shaking my head. They now drop ship for me, pack the product and give me the advantage of their huge marketing power to get me the best rates ever from FedEX! I've moved into Fresh Flowers as well as florist hard goods and that has moved me up to about a 100% profit on every product I sell.

I was delighted when I had "a problem" on Wednesday. Seems like one of my FedEx fresh flower boxes got hung up in Indianapolis. It was still THERE while it was supposed to be in New York on a truck to my bride. I had to get busy and hop on the phone and find a wholesaler in NY that was close enough to her and sell her the flowers she needed. At first he was willing to sell to me and let her pick it up (I was trying to arrange a delivery so not to inconvenience my bride) - but while he was on my land line office phone he heard me have to stop and talk with my wholesaler in St. Louis and telling her I found another source . . . he became so interested in what I was doing that he offered to DELIVER THE FLOWERS TO THE BRIDE HIMSELF if I would let him pitch HIS company to be to become an East Coast distributor for me! LOL!! Talk about excited! Having another large company that is willing to pack and ship for me, break cases when needed and (his words) be "forward thinking to the future" is a dream for me! I love that some of these huge companies see big potential in my little online store! When I told him it was my hope to get a distributor in the MidWest (which I already have) - another large one on the East Coast (which he is offering to be) and finally one on the West Coast (still working on that one!) . . . and he said to me, "You do realize that is how Amazon grew to be so big?" I'm laughing at that one - I never quite picture myself as the "Amazon Florist Supply" . . . but I would sure like to get to the point of making several $100,000's in sales each year!

See? I didn't HAVE to develop my own product! I had to develop a site that earned the traffic that sold somebody elses's product! All I had to do was invest in a quality online store and start building my traffic. Did it happen overnight? NOPE!! Lots and lots and lots of hours. Now I don't mean lots of hours on the forums (ummm . . yeah I did do that!) but lots of hours BUILDING PAGES. BUILDING TUTORIALS. BUILDING UP MY EXPERTISE. Lots of knocking on whoelsale doors. Lots of gulping down my fears and flying across 4 states to meet with someone to convince them to take a chance on me and let me market THEIR product for them! Many many many businesses do not have the skill or know how on how to get a website up and running that actually receives traffic - and then market their product on them.

YOU become their expert. YOU build the store. YOU convince some of these specialty businesses to let you SELL for them while they get busy packing and shipping the product for you. So what do you like to do? Antiques? They sell like crazy online . . . create a store, become an expert and then (eventually) approach one, then another . . then more antique stores that let YOU sell THEIR product online - when they sell - you make a commission and they've sold a product! Like gardening? See if anyone has a garden store that they would like for you to promote for them. Like doll trading? Get your name out there and build up an expert site and then begin marketing and selling those dolls that OTHER PEOPLE HAVE! This isn't new. It's a concept that really caught on and it's called E-bay. But E-bay has gotten so big and charge for each and every little bold title or so many pics that the smaller sellers have been squeezed out by the BIG time sellers on e-bay.

You can become the expert in the online market. You'd be surprised how many store owners still feel helpless about how to get a business running that gets traffic online. But isn't that what we've been trained to do with SBI? So look around. Do you like quilting, sewing, antiquing, browsing flea markets, or collecting guns? Are you part of a sewing club? Browse and think of unique products to sew and sell online. (Think of Carol Leather with her patterns) Put your thinking caps on . . . it doesn't have to just be about products YOU develop . . but developing a site that gets traffic which equals a buying market which you can then SELL FOR OTHERS.

I tried in the beginning to sell my own cake tops. I took Wilton products and painted them, added rifles, etc. and then sold themed cake toppers. Sold them like crazy. Paid $11.00 for the topper and sold them for $25. Over 100% markup. Know why I had to stop? Because I was too busy SELLING SOMEONE ELSE'S PRODUCT. It is much easier to sell $1000 worth of fresh flowers that net me $500 on one sale rather than paint 45 cake toppers to make $500. See how it works? Once my store got large enough - it's all I can do to keep up, track the daily orders, pass them on to the right wholesaler and then keep an eye on them and be the "customer service" for my brides if anything goes wrong. (And plenty does!!)

But I love it! I'm still up to my neck in the flower business but I don't have to lift the heavy water buckets anymore unless I want to do another tutorial! I've been so busy lately I haven't even been able to do that! I had to enlist the services of a retired florist to help me keep up with simply pinning daily on Pinterest.

Don't give up on your dreams. Expand them. Think out of the box. Sell yourself to others and let THEIR products be the unique thing you can sell to a hungry consumer online. I used to say I never wanted to give advice unless I had proved to myself that it worked for me. So you got slammed by Panda! Get up, dust yourself off and quit looking backwards. Those easy days of Google Adsense don't exist anymore. But there is still millions of consumers on the internet and growing more every day. Learn how to be a marketeer and then build it around a product you can sell - hopefully for someone else. Because you are going to be so busy tracking order and deliveries that you won't have TIME to make that product yourself!

Believe in SBI . . . it does work. You don't HAVE to have a website that looks like it cost a million bucks. You just treat your customer like THEY are worth a million bucks to you.

C'mon! Race you to the top! LOL :lol:


Wedding Flowers Inc.
#1348526 by Mary from Mico
Sat May 28, 2016 5:14 am
Hi Louann!

Thank you for posting a very inspiring post. I'm needing it right now. I'm super thrilled to read of your successes!

Have a great flower season!

#1348534 by Tobias & Stephanie from Hardyville
Sat May 28, 2016 9:04 am
Hi Louann,

You're an inspiration, how you came back from the Pinterest and Google Image setbacks and built up your business to be stronger than ever. Thank you for sharing your story!

#1348547 by Elizabeth from Chatham, Kent UK
Sat May 28, 2016 3:47 pm
Louann - as always, you are an absolute treasure.

Thank you for sharing that with us. What food for thought.

All the best

#1348602 by B from Altmünster
Sun May 29, 2016 3:48 pm
wrote:Believe in SBI . . . it does work. You don't HAVE to have a website that looks like it cost a million bucks. You just treat your customer like THEY are worth a million bucks to you.

What she said :-)

Well put, ! (all of it)
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